Details on the New AP Homework Waiver


AP students hard at work on their homework in the Knowledge Center. Photo courtesy of the yearbook committee.

Tim Walsh, Director of Miner TV

What is one of the most demanding things about Advanced Placement classes? Students at Bishop Manogue would say, overwhelmingly, the homework. Students who take multiple AP classes are often overloaded with tests, projects, and homework which adds up fast and leaves students with no time to do anythings else. To solve this problem, the AP homework waiver was created by the administration at Bishop Manogue to help ease  the workload of students taking multiple AP classes.

What is the AP homework waiver exactly? It is a form that students taking an AP class can sign at the beginning of the year to be able to not do any of the homework for that class. All homework assignments are not added to the gradebook and do not count towards the student’s final grade. The homework can still be done, but will not count.

This can hurt students as much as it helps them, and cannot be canceled in the middle of the semester. If you sign it, you cannot unsign it. Teachers will assign homework that reviews a test or quiz, and it is the students responsibility to study for the test or quiz if they choose to sign the homework waiver. The AP homework waiver does not guarantee that the student will not have to do any work outside of the classroom, but gives the students more choice over what he or she does for the class.

Another potential downside of the homework waiver is that with the lack of homework points in the student’s grade book, they have less points to cushion their grade if they do bad on a test or project. The student should understand this and work hard on studying for tests because that will be the main source of points for the student.

The AP homework waiver is new to the 2018-19 year, and students and teachers alike are experimenting with the waiver to see how it affects grades and classes. Ms. Chiavini, who teaches AP Physics, claims that the homework waiver has the potential to helps students who are overloaded with work, but could hurt them as well. “I think it can potentially be a really good option for some students, because I think it simulates the college experience a little bit more.”

Mr. Glogovac, the AP Government and Politics teacher, says “the kids who benefit from it the most are those that maybe have taken on more than they’ve realized, a.k.a., three or four plus AP courses. Maybe these students are not realizing how much homework that [course load] may entail.”

While teachers think that letting their students choose their workload is a good thing, they are still concerned that students may use the homework waive to get out of all work outside of school entirely, which according to Ms. Chiavini, “I think for certain students that might be a problem.”

“There are non-negotiables,” says Mr. Glogovac, “like the amount of reading, whereas a lot of that can be construed as being homework, because you’re doing it outside of class, but you kind of have to do those.” Teachers want their students to succeed, and much of the homework they assign is to help students learn for tests, not to fill up student’s free-time with needless work. Students who do not understand this and choose to sign the homework waiver could end up regretting it at the end of the semester.

The AP homework waiver is a new aspect of AP classes that is still being refined. Any student who is considering taking a multitude of AP classes should consider the homework waiver. Any student who does not want the commitment of the homework waiver, but is overloaded with work, take Ms. Chiavini’s advice: “just for mental health, and the overall well-being of the student, maybe stick to five AP classes at most!”